Is this a new drug?Â No!Â Then what is L+E+S+D?Â It’s our strategic vision for 2008.Â God wants the leaders and partners of Wellspring to become better lovers, engagers, sharers and disciplers in 2008.Â Today, as I was thinking aboutÂ our church I asked myself, “How am I loving, engaging, sharing and discipling in 2008?”Â To be frank, this is the first time I’ve asked myself this questions but nevertheless, have beenÂ informally doingÂ it.Â I’ve been trying to become a better lover of my wife… not the romantic side butÂ as aÂ sacrificial servant.Â God has been thumpin’ my heart challenging me to intentionally serve her even when I don’t feel like it.Â I can’t love others if I’m not loving her first.Â The Holy Spirit helped me to see that loving her always benefits others.Â In my opinion, a man who loves well is a man that gives his all in loving his wife.Â When a man loves his wife sacrificially, he then knows how to love others…Â
I’ve also been challenged by the Holy Spirit to engage with more unbelievers than ever before in my life.Â IÂ want to be around them in order for the fragrance of Christ to be smelled.Â It’s fun, exciting, real, intriguing and an opportunity for Christ to be seen.Â I recognize that when I was an unbeliever, I wasn’t thinking of coming to anyone’s church but wow, wouldn’t it have been nice for the church to come to me?Â I have a long way to go as I seek to engage for Jesus but I’m fully in theÂ game.Â
In regards to sharing, IÂ am fully committed toÂ share my life and strengthÂ withÂ my family as my first priority.Â As I share my life with them, it overflowsÂ into how I share myself in leading and shepherdingÂ God’s church.Â Growing up I was so selfish but right now I really see God sanctifying me in this area.Â
Discipling is the last piece to our strategy for 2008.Â First, I am fired up about discipling my wife.Â I haven’t always had this in balance with the rest of what I do but God’s grace has me laser focused.Â My discipling routine is praying with her and for her throughout the day, reading and dialoguing over a short story in our couple’s devotional, discussing my sermons with her and encouraging her to stayÂ intimate with Jesus.Â We are currently reading a book that we are both familiar with and have been longing toÂ read for a long time.Â It’s so sweet how wives are always ready but usÂ MEN are so distracted…Â I am also excited about reading a powerful book together with oldest son as I seek to make lasting impressions in his heart.Â
If you are flowing with us in this missional movementÂ called Wellspring,Â how are you loving, engaging, sharing and discipling or being discipled?Â I’d love to hear your story.Â If you aren’tÂ a part of Wellspring, please feel the freedom to engage with us and if you are in Charlotte, I’d love toÂ seeÂ you at the Well.Â
Life After Adultery (Pt. 2)
Without trying to short-change the seemingly eternal rebuilding process in the marriage, I believe forgiveness has to eventually be introduced and woven into the hearts of the couple if there is any hope for this marriage.Â After the hurt and anger surface, there has to be a definitive choice made.Â This decision can either close the tormenting cycle of hurt, anger and mental reminders with forgiveness or embrace the outcome of becoming a victim to it.
Despite my personal passion for moving couples toward forgiveness, the Bible allows for the divorce of a spouse who commits adultery (Deuteronomy 24:1-4; Matthew 19:9).Â However, God’s heart for marriage is that forgiveness would be chosen over divorce since God detests divorce (Malachi 2:16).Â Nevertheless, the Christian spouse who has been victimized by the wounds of adultery often lives between knowledge and emotion.Â On one hand they may know what the Scriptures teach about adultery and divorce.Â On the other hand, they may sense an emotional impossibility to function in the midst of the constant reminders and feelings.
Life After Adultery (Pt. 1)
Can a marriage recover from the devastation of adultery?Â This is the pervading question that is pondered by the adulterous couple as well as the counselor who is tasked with assisting them.Â How does a couple whose heart’s desire is for the pain to disappear proceed?Â How does a couple obtain the courage to venture into their heartache in order to salvage the rubble from the aftermath of the betrayal and emotional chaos?Â Once the reality and impact of adultery hit, the only remaining question is how to continue living life?
Following the realization of adultery are insurmountable emotional, mental and physical aches and pains that become life’s daily reminders of the breech of trust.Â In addition to the inner anguish is the on-going presence of the person who has inflicted this pain.Â Instead of choosing to escape from the inflictor of pain, one is now left with the confusion of whether to ever trust their spouse again.
Dead Clothes vs. Divine Attire
About 12 hours ago I finished a sermon coming online called “Living Life Clothed in Jesus.”Â Within this message I dealt with what it means to “put on” (ESV) or clothe ourselves with Jesus.Â I dealt with Colossians 3:1-17 exploring Paul’s encouragement to the Christ followers at Colasse as they were up against humanistic false teachers who prided themselves on creating extra work for the saints.Â They were attempting in a gnostic way to add do’s and don’ts to the already sufficient Jesus.Â Paul told them free yourselves from this nonsense by seeking hard after Christ and setting your thoughts and affections upon him… As I was studying this text it became so apparent to me that we pursue hard after everything BUTÂ him seeking to fulfill ourselves apart from him.Â We as aÂ Christ-followersÂ have to repent…Â There is such a subtle addiction in Charlotte to pursue gratifying our flesh with more… more… more… when everything we need is in Jesus… But that just seems to elementary.Â People say, “What I need is more money, more influence, more power, more sex, more status, more activities (especially for my kids), more clothes, more food, more men to complete me, more women to fulfill me, when Jesus is saying, “You have it all wrong.”Â When I made you alive, I made you to live for me finding full satisfaction in me and me alone.Â
The next thing we saw in the textÂ was an urgent command to “put off” (ESV) or mortify/starve the dead deeds of the flesh that Jesus died for… Paul is telling us to starve the dead deeds of the flesh that try to convince us that they have power over us.Â For when Jesus died, he bore our sins in his body, and wiping away our sin debt.Â When he rose from the dead, he destroyed sins power over us.Â We are called as “alive Christ followers” to starve the crap that is in us that seductively attempts to keep us from living out our resurrected life.Â Our flesh is constantly attempting to keep us in bondage to the dead deeds of the flesh.Â Paul says starve it by not feeding it and making a date with it…
Thirdly, he urges the Christ followers to “put on” (ESV) or suit up with Christ.Â This is Paul’s last command forÂ us to live out loud the life that Jesus died for by putting on and wearing our divine attire that cost Jesus his life.Â Compassion, humility, forgiveness, etc. are all things characteristic of a true Christ follower that has been made alive.Â Paul says, stop adding humanistic, man-made junk to your new faith in Christ and live through Jesus.
Processing this message has heightened and created within me a greater sense of thankfulness for all that Christ has done for us and what he really desires for us.Â Ask God to speak to you and where you are as you listen to this weeks message.Â Let me know if Jesus is enough…
Reflections of 1 yr. over 40
I’m not one of those bloggers who seeks to draw attention to himself to get everyone to read my blog butÂ since I justÂ celebratedÂ my 41stÂ birthday I think I have some wisdom to share.Â You see, when you get “seasoned” you gravitate to things like reflecting on what you’ve learned in life rather than persistently thinking about the future.Â Needless to say, I’m a visionary but every good visionary has to surmise what he or she has learned from the past.Â Thus, my desire is to share random bullet thoughts that capture where I am in life regarding a few areas.
He is my hero and central focus.Â I aim to please Him and not people.Â I’m too old to care what people think about me anymore.Â It’s too much work.
I’m reading, teaching and preaching about Him more these days – I think I finally understand.
I love Him with a fond affection and not just my head.
He is indeed Sovereign and Savior not simply theologically but intimately.
I repent to Him more and more these days as more years have past enabling me to really see how sinful I am.
The gospel is the power of God unto salvation for everyone who believes.
We live out the reality of the gospel in culture, not in a vacuum or in our heads.
Jesus’ penal substitutionary atonement was sufficient for my salvation.
The gospel isÂ not something I just responded to 20 years ago, it’s what I am learning to live out everyday.
It is my very life, not just the “Four Spiritual Laws.”
I didn’t do squat to deserve salvation, it’s ALLÂ GRACE.
3.Â MY WIFE
I love her more than anything in this world and will serve her faithfully until I die.
Serving and leading my wife is true manhood not living in spineless apathy appeasing her every wish…Â So many dudes are waiting on their wives to lead them instead of them leading their wives through humble servant leadership.
Headship is more about my response to God’s order than my ability to tell my wife what to do.
I need my wife more than anyone else in this world.
I’m learning to comfortably lead out of my weakness and not out of my strength.
I allow myself to be corrected more by my wifeÂ now than everÂ before (she’s my partner and cheerleaderÂ not my adversary).
We celebrate each other’s successes and embrace each other’s failure (it’s about the team win rather than the individual win).
I repent more than I ever have before.Â Some days I really stink as a dad but really learn alot from those funky days.
I’m learning how to parent through the gospel and not out of a law narrative.
I love my kidsÂ tremendously and pray consistently for them.Â I’ve aged watching them grow up but it’s been wonderful.
The only desire I have for my kids is that they love Jesus, His Word and honor us as parents.
It’s a waste of time to be anything other than myself.
Nurture a few intimate friendships and discern carefully who you let in your personal space.
Speak the truth in love to those who want to hear it and pray for those who are hardened by sin.
Don’t waste time with people who can’t rejoice with you and weep with you.
Maturity is not about how you posture yourself before menÂ on the outside but how deep is Jesus inside of you.
I take joy in being a person not simply a title… Pastor is what I do not who I am.
I seek to allow the Holy Spirit to lead me in all ministry and not my flesh.Â
I value a gospel-centered ministry more than ever.
My ministry and service in my home means more to me than what I do before those outside my home.
The fame of Jesus is more of a priority to me than the fame of men.Â This must be due to age because early in ministry it was all about how I could be a Christian celebrity… Now IÂ try to quietly live life becauseÂ Jesus is the real hero.
I can’t stand arrogant men or woman who seek to impress people with their theological smarts when their hearts are full of themselves.Â We can serve Jesus because of His work not ours.
Men are called to lead in the home and in the church in full dependence of the Holy Spirit so that women can properly respond to his leadership.Â For example, the Bible calls men to be elders and pastors, not women.
Men are gravitating too much towards apathy, timidity, game-systems, idol time, sillyness and meaningless hobbies.Â Age has taught me to redeem the time with diligence, be courageous, read everything, serve without the longing for applause, enjoy humor and simplifying life to keep the main thing the main thing.
Some women are hurt, broken and seeking for meaning in life oftentimes at the expense of competing with men for roles clearly defined by God in the church.
Women are precious, tender, feminine, industrious, strong and worthy of respect.Â Men and women are equal but distinct in their roles.
Healthy eating and exercise isn’t optional anymore, it’s MANDATORY.
Taking vitamins have been a life saver.
It’s thrilling to age… Thanks for listening.
From a Sermon to an Apple Cobbler
There is never a dull moment when you have children that like to eat.Â I thought I had the evening planned for working on my sermon until the word “cobbler” was mentioned.Â Since I am the self-proclaimed chef, it was my responsibility to slice the apples…Â Off I went, slicing over 15-20 Granny Smith apples.
As my kids, hovered over the bowl asking for every fifth slice, I hurried as fast as I could in order to prevent getting weary.Â After a cramp in my finger and sticky fingers, my job was over and Les’ job began.Â She is what I call the “Crust Master.”Â I passed the bowl of apples to herÂ and she started mixing the crust.Â However, my ego was shattered as my kids suddenly began migrating now toÂ where my wife was working.Â My stock had tanked, nonetheless, I was pumped that my job was over and forty five minutes later, the masterpiece was done.
In those few moments, God taught me an incredible lesson about the beauty of teamwork.Â My wife and I have been teammates over 17 years… We cherish our ability to work together to see that the Bond family wins.Â I couldn’t have asked for a better partner.Â
As we are preparing for our community group that we will teach on teamwork – http://www.familylife.com/1-800-358-6329/detail.asp?id=6524, we are attempting to live it out.Â
You may ask yourself, how do you move forward as a team:Â (1)Â Recognize that if a husband and wife don’t work together, no one is going to win; (2)Â Determine what is the win for your family and work together towards that win; (3)Â Serve one another sacrificially even when you don’t feel like it; (4)Â Fight against pride of wanting to win by yourself and for yourself; (5)Â Try to see the end from the beginning; (6)Â Allow the strengths of your spouse to help the team win; (7)Â Celebrate a win when you both work together; and (8)Â Thank God always for your mate because if they weren’t in your life, you wouldn’t win.Â I think this apple cobbler wasÂ God’sÂ sermon for me this evening.Â Sorry, I wish I did have a Blog-smeller! 🙂